Author Topic: What about next year/next party (dealing w/ food preferences)(update #28)  (Read 5667 times)

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Softly Spoken

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Re: What about next year/next party (dealing w/ picky eater)(warning long)
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2012, 03:47:15 PM »
I agree that you're being too sensitive, and also wonder about the idea that "the whole point" of your Christmas breakfast is the food. Surely the whole point is the people you're making the food for?

I thought I had made it clear that the food is the point because it is a gift from me to my family. The dishes mean nothing special on their own - in the context of being made on a holiday for people that I care about who in fact love and request said dishes, then by proxy they become 'the point.' My brothers and my father  love my breakfast and look forward to it every year. If they didn't enjoy it I wouldn't bother to do it.
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ncgal

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Re: What about next year/next party (dealing w/ picky eater)(warning long)
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2012, 03:48:59 PM »
I am posting this question per the request of some people on the "holiday hill to die on" thread.

~snip~
BG Part 2: Now as I explained on the other thread, for the past 10 years I have been making Christmas breakfast for our family: biscuits and sausage gravy, fried cornmeal mush, eggnog bread pudding, scrambled eggs, and cottage cheese pancakes. This year I invited SM to come for breakfast, after Dad and I worked out that he would spend Xmas eve with her family. I wouldn't have been hurt if she hadn't come bc I don't know her that well, she is his wife not my mother. Dad and I went through a rough patch when he sprung his new relationship on me and the end result after some emergency counseling was he agreed to try and be more considerate of my feelings and I would try and be more civil to the new lady in his life. Inviting her to breakfast was an olive branch/my effort to include her like he'd said he wanted me to. /BG


~snip~
Am I being an SS? Too thin skinned? How would you guys have handled it? How *do* you handle it when someone doesn't like your food? How do you handle it if someone actually *disses*(sp?) your food?

Thanks for taking the time to read all this! ;D

I think you are being too thin skinned.  My BIL eats ketchup on his eggs.  I have never given it a second thought and never ever thought it was a comment on my cooking the eggs.  Just the way he eats them, each to their own there.  Me, I give her thumbs up for even trying the cottage cheese pancakes.  I don't eat anything with cottage cheese and would have just left them off my plate.  Now the fried cornmeal mush does not sound to great to me, but I think I might have tried it.  Just remember, we are all different, like different things and have different reactions to textures.  She tried the food, she showed up with your dad, so please give her a break. 

You say the problems and therapy were with your dad.  Have you ever had any problems with her?  I think you are taking out your issues with your dad on her.  That is not fair to her if she is trying here.

PrincessInPink

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Re: What about next year/next party (dealing w/ picky eater)(warning long)
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2012, 03:51:38 PM »
She gave up the tradition she normally has so that you could keep yours, and as a result she spent her Xmas morning in a stressful situation eating foods she doesn't particularly like with people who don't seem to like her very much.

That basically sums up the whole thing for me, which is why I feel kind of bad for her. I understand that your feelings were hurt, OP, and I'm not saying she did everything perfectly, but it does sound like she made an effort to do the best she could in a stressful situation, and it still wasn't good enough. If she finds out that you don't want her to come again next year, I expect that she'll be pretty hurt.

Surianne

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Re: What about next year/next party (dealing w/ picky eater)(warning long)
« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2012, 03:52:38 PM »
I agree that you're being too sensitive, and also wonder about the idea that "the whole point" of your Christmas breakfast is the food. Surely the whole point is the people you're making the food for?

I thought I had made it clear that the food is the point because it is a gift from me to my family. The dishes mean nothing special on their own - in the context of being made on a holiday for people that I care about who in fact love and request said dishes, then by proxy they become 'the point.' My brothers and my father  love my breakfast and look forward to it every year. If they didn't enjoy it I wouldn't bother to do it.

Maybe you can look at it this way then for next year -- part of that gift is being kind and generous to your dad's wife, which means assuming the best of her rather than the worst.

You say the problems and therapy were with your dad.  Have you ever had any problems with her?  I think you are taking out your issues with your dad on her.  That is not fair to her if she is trying here.

I agree -- it doesn't sound like your dad's wife has actually done anything wrong or been rude to you in the past, unless I missed something (which is always possible!). 

She gave up the tradition she normally has so that you could keep yours, and as a result she spent her Xmas morning in a stressful situation eating foods she doesn't particularly like with people who don't seem to like her very much.

That basically sums up the whole thing for me, which is why I feel kind of bad for her. I understand that your feelings were hurt, OP, and I'm not saying she did everything perfectly, but it does sound like she made an effort to do the best she could in a stressful situation, and it still wasn't good enough. If she finds out that you don't want her to come again next year, I expect that she'll be pretty hurt.

I agree, this is a good summary of how I see the situation, too.

UpdatedName

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Re: What about next year/next party (dealing w/ picky eater)(warning long)
« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2012, 04:23:58 PM »
I agree that you're being too sensitive, and also wonder about the idea that "the whole point" of your Christmas breakfast is the food. Surely the whole point is the people you're making the food for?

I thought I had made it clear that the food is the point because it is a gift from me to my family. The dishes mean nothing special on their own - in the context of being made on a holiday for people that I care about who in fact love and request said dishes, then by proxy they become 'the point.' My brothers and my father  love my breakfast and look forward to it every year. If they didn't enjoy it I wouldn't bother to do it.

But the thing is, the actual food isn't the point. The point is "I took time to make dishes that we all enjoy so that we can all have a nice time together." So the family togetherness and experience is "the point". If you focus so much on the dish that you forget the point of making the dish, things have the potential of getting a little convoluted. Look at it this way: If you dad were to show up with a styrofoam to-go box, pack up a meal without saying a word, and drive away, would you be happy? Probably not, because it is the experience, not just the food, that you want him to have. And how is he going to have a lovely family experience when part of his family (and his wife is part of his family now) is made to feel begrudged and unwelcome?

MrsJWine

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Re: What about next year/next party (dealing w/ picky eater)(warning long)
« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2012, 04:28:45 PM »
Hot sauce on eggs is not all the weird. I know plenty of people who like it. That and ketchup and A1 and all kinds of things. I don't think it's rude to add a condiment if you know for a fact that it's a dish you will prefer with this one thing--more akin to putting ketchup on your untasted hamburger than salt in your untasted soup.


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Utah

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Re: What about next year/next party (dealing w/ picky eater)(warning long)
« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2012, 04:32:13 PM »
Hot sauce on eggs is not all the weird. I know plenty of people who like it. That and ketchup and A1 and all kinds of things. I don't think it's rude to add a condiment if you know for a fact that it's a dish you will prefer with this one thing--more akin to putting ketchup on your untasted hamburger than salt in your untasted soup.

Pod. Heck, my BF puts hot sauce on darn near everything and sets it out on the table to offer it to me for all sorts of meals.

And it even comes up in the OP that she wasn't sure if the stepmom tasted it first, not that she definitely didn't taste it first--and heck, when we had the thread about it, it was new to a lot of posters here. So she may have tasted it without the OP seeing, or she may just not know the rule.

ETA: I do agree that the comment about the pancakes was clumsy, but really, people shouldn't be grilling other people on why they're not eating the (whatever). This also means, OP, that the people who grill you when you don't eat something are also wrong.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2012, 04:36:15 PM by Yvaine »

WillyNilly

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Re: What about next year/next party (dealing w/ picky eater)(warning long)
« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2012, 04:32:56 PM »
Quick question - who is the "picky eater" referenced in the title? Sounds like everyone in the scenario is open to trying new foods even those outside their "norm".

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Re: What about next year/next party (dealing w/ picky eater)(warning long)
« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2012, 04:41:27 PM »
I have to agree with the majority. She gave up her family traditions to come to yours, and she at least tried everything.

It's a big change, first losing your mother, then having your dad remarry. You've had a lot of adjustments in a short time. However, I don't think this is a hill to die on. Making it into one will end badly.
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Re: What about next year/next party (dealing w/ picky eater)(warning long)
« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2012, 04:46:02 PM »
Quick question - who is the "picky eater" referenced in the title? Sounds like everyone in the scenario is open to trying new foods even those outside their "norm".

The impression I got, WillyNilly, was that the SM was the "picky eater", because her taste preferences were different than the OP was used to. I agree with you, though, it doesn't sound like anyone is actually being picky. The OP included a fruit salad to bring some freshness to the meal, SM was very gracious to try all items and the OP's initial background notes say her father's palate has expanded a lot since meeting SM.

OP, it's very clear from this and the other thread that you do not like your SM even a little; perhaps she behaved awkwardly because she sensed she was unwanted? In any case, it might make things much more pleasant for both you and your father (who you clearly love) if you assume her motives are good.
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Re: What about next year/next party (dealing w/ picky eater)(warning long)
« Reply #25 on: January 07, 2012, 04:49:25 PM »
If someone puts me on the spot with a question I don't want to answer, I'm probably not going to come up with the most diplomatic response. Not because I'm mean, but because it's extremely awkward, and my brain decides to take a vacation. She could have answered the question better, but I think asking the question was the worse offense.

It sounds like you take a lot of things personally just because of who you're dealing with. For instance, what's wrong with your dad's palate expanding? Is it really that bad that she cooks a wide variety of foods for him?

I don't your history; I don't know whose fault it is that your relationship got off to such a sour start, but going on what we know, I feel for your stepmother. Your dad "sprung this new relationship" on you, which, if he did it badly, I can understand your hurt, but why take it out on your stepmother? So your relationship got off to a bad start, and then this Christmas breakfast invitation, and your stepmother is probably thinking, "This is promising. Maybe it's the start of a better relationship," and then everything served except for the fruit salad is stuff she doesn't really care for. But she takes a little of all of it to be polite, and then gets put on the spot about the pancakes, and doesn't know what to say, and makes a clumsy response and gets judged for it.

If this is the kind of tension every time you all get together, she probably feels like she's walking on eggshells. That kind of tension always makes for more awkward get-togethers and more foot-in-mouth and more hurt feelings and more tension, and on and on. If she's not a toxic person, I think you should be just a tad more charitable.


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Utah

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Re: What about next year/next party (dealing w/ picky eater)(warning long)
« Reply #26 on: January 07, 2012, 04:52:05 PM »
Quick question - who is the "picky eater" referenced in the title? Sounds like everyone in the scenario is open to trying new foods even those outside their "norm".

I agree with WillyNilly. I don't think she's a picky eater. I think the issue with "her" food versus "your" food is the taste. If she likes spicy food and your food isn't spicy it's not going to taste good to her. It will *need* something to give it the flavor that she is used too. I think you are looking for any offense you can.

Also, can I ask what cottage cheese pancakes are and how they are made? I figure with cottage cheese but I've never had them nor heard of them. What about the cornmeal mush? Does it have any other ingredients in it?



kansha

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Re: What about next year/next party (dealing w/ picky eater)(warning long)
« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2012, 04:54:31 PM »
at the risk of opening a can of worms: does the 'different cultural background' used to describe the new wife in the OP also include a different race/ethnicity than the family-of-origin?

Softly Spoken

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Re: What about next year/next party (dealing w/ picky eater)(warning long)
« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2012, 04:57:05 PM »
*slightly exasperated* Okay let me clarify some things. I am trying not to get triggered by the posts I feel put all of this on me bc the whole difficulty I had w/ my Dad was it felt like he expected me to do all of the adjusting and compromising and didn't acknowledge how difficult the entire situation was for me or how it affected me. If you're wondering why I'm so sensitive it might just have to do with the fact that I am still living in the house I grew up in, with my father (who's moving out next month), and I am (or rather was) the only female in the family now that my mom has died (she passed 4 yrs ago from cancer and it gutted the family).

1) SM did NOT give up her Xmas traditions for us this year it was a 50/50 split - Dad spent Xmas eve with her and her kids and their ILs. She did not martyr her own traditions for the sake of my breakfast, nor did I (or would I ever) ask for that. I wanted even time between families. As far as I know they don't even do xmas breakfast they focus on dinner. She really isn't much of a breakfast person anyway.

2) I do not begrudge my SM anything and I did not do anything on Xmas to make her feel unwelcome. I realize some of my previous bad feeling may have tainted the tone of my OP but I really really don't dislike this woman. I just don't know her well enough to really care one way or the other bc Dad did a very very poor job of introducing her and his relationship with her, which led to some very bad feelings esp. bc I am still mourning my mother. He's known her longer than I have, and yet he still expected me to magically feel the same way for her that he does. He would accuse me of not liking her and I kept telling him "How can I dislike someone I don't know?" I am really just trying to find a way to fit her into my heart, and not feel like I'm competing with her or losing him to her. But that is on him and me not her I know. As it stands I will admit that my feelings about him/her may affect how I react to her words and actions but I have worked very hard not to let them affect how I treat her.

3) I am not looking to 'rescind the olive branch' as someone suggested. I am not saying I don't want to invite her next time bc she doesn't like my food. My feelings about her coming next time are not born from a vindictive place I am actually trying to find a way for her to be more comfortable. If I knew I was going to an event where I would be one of the only people not enjoying the food (and the food was the main focus of said event), I would not really be looking forward to going and would be relieved if I knew I would not insult the host by not coming. Since she has her own family and her own traditions, I thought the best solution would be to let her off the hook by saying she was welcome to come but it was fine if she couldn't, especially since I think she only came to make Dad happy.

4) When I posted this I really wasn't looking for validation that she was a rude person or anything like that. This was not, not meant to be a "Isn't my SM horrible and aren't I a martyr for putting up with her?" kind of thing! I'm sorry if people read it like it was. I suppose there are so many family horror stories on here that everyone who reads a post goes in assuming that battle lines must be drawn and sides must be taken. I am not asking for that in any way whatsoever. I have stepped back and examined it from a better place and I am just trying to find a way to make everyone as happy as possible. I am just frustrated with the way personal food preference is making things awkward during special occasions, and I wanted to know what *other* people do to deal with situations where someone doesn't like what is being served.

As a host I do not like the idea of one of my guests being uncomfortable bc they don't like most of the food, but since everyone else likes the food I've been serving (duh that's why I serve it ::)) I am not inclined to change the menu that much. Someone here suggested I invite her to bring a dish - I can see where that would be a good compromise, but OTOH I don't want to make her feel put upon to provide her own food. Again, in my mind: dish-host-has-prepared + little-to-no-work-on-guests-part = a gift and part and parcel when hosting a meal. Maybe in the future we will switch the tone of things from "my project" to "potluck". At any rate I have 11 months to figure it out... ;)

PS: @WillyNilly - I was referring to my SM. Maybe picky isn't the right word. Basically I chose to describe her that way bc she does not like to eat most of my Dad's food (not just what I made, what he regularly offers her, what restaurants he suggests, etc.) I suppose her family thinks he is picky/quirky about food too. It really is a cultural thing - he has joked that he will have to take some "care packages" with him when he goes to live with her if she will be doing all the cooking. Or maybe I'll just give her my recipes idk...
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UpdatedName

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Re: What about next year/next party (dealing w/ picky eater)(warning long)
« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2012, 05:04:57 PM »
*slightly exasperated* Okay let me clarify some things. I am trying not to get triggered by the posts I feel put all of this on me bc the whole difficulty I had w/ my Dad was it felt like he expected me to do all of the adjusting and compromising and didn't acknowledge how difficult the entire situation was for me or how it affected me. If you're wondering why I'm so sensitive it might just have to do with the fact that I am still living in the house I grew up in, with my father (who's moving out next month), and I am (or rather was) the only female in the family now that my mom has died (she passed 4 yrs ago from cancer and it gutted the family).

1) SM did NOT give up her Xmas traditions for us this year it was a 50/50 split - Dad spent Xmas eve with her and her kids and their ILs. She did not martyr her own traditions for the sake of my breakfast, nor did I (or would I ever) ask for that. I wanted even time between families. As far as I know they don't even do xmas breakfast they focus on dinner. She really isn't much of a breakfast person anyway.

2) I do not begrudge my SM anything and I did not do anything on Xmas to make her feel unwelcome. I realize some of my previous bad feeling may have tainted the tone of my OP but I really really don't dislike this woman. I just don't know her well enough to really care one way or the other bc Dad did a very very poor job of introducing her and his relationship with her, which led to some very bad feelings esp. bc I am still mourning my mother. He's known her longer than I have, and yet he still expected me to magically feel the same way for her that he does. He would accuse me of not liking her and I kept telling him "How can I dislike someone I don't know?" I am really just trying to find a way to fit her into my heart, and not feel like I'm competing with her or losing him to her. But that is on him and me not her I know. As it stands I will admit that my feelings about him/her may affect how I react to her words and actions but I have worked very hard not to let them affect how I treat her.

3) I am not looking to 'rescind the olive branch' as someone suggested. I am not saying I don't want to invite her next time bc she doesn't like my food. My feelings about her coming next time are not born from a vindictive place I am actually trying to find a way for her to be more comfortable. If I knew I was going to an event where I would be one of the only people not enjoying the food (and the food was the main focus of said event), I would not really be looking forward to going and would be relieved if I knew I would not insult the host by not coming. Since she has her own family and her own traditions, I thought the best solution would be to let her off the hook by saying she was welcome to come but it was fine if she couldn't, especially since I think she only came to make Dad happy.

4) When I posted this I really wasn't looking for validation that she was a rude person or anything like that. This was not, not meant to be a "Isn't my SM horrible and aren't I a martyr for putting up with her?" kind of thing! I'm sorry if people read it like it was. I suppose there are so many family horror stories on here that everyone who reads a post goes in assuming that battle lines must be drawn and sides must be taken. I am not asking for that in any way whatsoever. I have stepped back and examined it from a better place and I am just trying to find a way to make everyone as happy as possible. I am just frustrated with the way personal food preference is making things awkward during special occasions, and I wanted to know what *other* people do to deal with situations where someone doesn't like what is being served.
[/b]
As a host I do not like the idea of one of my guests being uncomfortable bc they don't like most of the food, but since everyone else likes the food I've been serving (duh that's why I serve it ::)) I am not inclined to change the menu that much. Someone here suggested I invite her to bring a dish - I can see where that would be a good compromise, but OTOH I don't want to make her feel put upon to provide her own food. Again, in my mind: dish-host-has-prepared + little-to-no-work-on-guests-part = a gift and part and parcel when hosting a meal. Maybe in the future we will switch the tone of things from "my project" to "potluck". At any rate I have 11 months to figure it out... ;)

PS: @WillyNilly - I was referring to my SM. Maybe picky isn't the right word. Basically I chose to describe her that way bc she does not like to eat most of my Dad's food (not just what I made, what he regularly offers her, what restaurants he suggests, etc.) I suppose her family thinks he is picky/quirky about food too. It really is a cultural thing - he has joked that he will have to take some "care packages" with him when he goes to live with her if she will be doing all the cooking. Or maybe I'll just give her my recipes idk...

To be honest, make something else (or add other dishes) is what I do.

You say that you know she doesn't like the food. You say that you don't want to change the food or (presumably, since it wasn't done) add much food. You don't like her adding things like hot sauce to her food. And you ask what you can do, in light of all of these facts, to make her feel more comfortable foodwise. I'm not trying to be snarky here, but it doesn't seem like you're that interested in making her comfortable foodwise, so why ask?